The Capital School District Board of Education meeting tonight was a packed house, in spite of very icy roads in Dover, DE. Most of the crowd was there to support the Dover High School Principal, Dr. Evelyn Edney. Edney’s contract was not renewed by the board in the November executive session of their board meeting, despite a recommendation to renew by Capital Superintendent Dr. Michael Thomas.
There were about fifty public comments submitted, but Board President Kay Dietz-Sass limited the comments to a maximum of three minutes each for two blocks of fifteen minutes each. Edney’s supporters claimed her non-renewal would set back race relations 50 years in the capital of Delaware. Some gave exact details of how much a potential lawsuit would cost the district. Edney, an African-American, was supported by several members of the Dover community. The board did add another fifteen minutes at the end of the evening, allowing an additional half hour of public comment.
In an article in the Dover Post from December 17th, 2014, a teacher at the high school said in the 12/10 Capital Board meeting “Under her leadership, she has gotten Dover High School out of the state’s partnership zone program, met average yearly progress (AYP) goals and increased graduation and attendance rates,” he told the board. “She is a leader that puts the students first and I am asking that the DHS contract be put back on the agenda for February 2015 and revisit the decision, giving more time for community input.”
Many of the commenters at tonight’s board meeting demanded to know why Edney’s contract was not being renewed. Dietz-Sass told the commenters they could not discuss personnel issues based on laws protecting employees. One commenter asked which law this was, to which Dr. Thomas told the commenter he would check with the Board attorney and would get back in touch with him. Another commenter actually said he was going to start a petition to disband the school board and would give it to Governor Markell. I don’t think the Governor has that kind of power over a local education agency school board, but they are welcome to try.
In terms of allegations of Edney’s race playing a factor into the decision, that would be tough to prove given that Capital has many African-American principals. I do think the board should give a valid reason to Edney why her contract wasn’t renewed, but I don’t think members of the community should make it into a bigger issue. There could be a multitude of issues beyond a track record of improvements for the high school. That should be between Edney and the Board. Just my two cents…
For more information on the Dover Post article from 12/17/14, please go here: http://www.doverpost.com/article/20141217/NEWS/141219820?template=printart
8 thoughts on “Capital Board of Education Meeting Tonight Draws A Huge Crowd To Support High School Principal”
I read about this dismissal in the DE State News and wondered why there was no cause stated.
In the search for the next principle the board president says the “the most important goal will be to find a “team player” who can “really fit in and work to be a part of the community.”
What is being implied? Just asking.
Will, What I think the board is saying is that Dr. Edney did not act in a manner that exhibited various competencies needed to put the school on path of the vision the board has set. Competencies in that vision may be in the area of political savvy, team player, organizational awareness. Sometimes you need to learn how to play nice in the sand box.
Thanks “Delmom” that’s what I was thinking they were saying. I can see where you could still get good performance reviews but if the board decides to go in a different direction then she may or may not fit in with that vision. Do not see why the board would not just say that if that is the reason. Thanks.
Typically a board of any sort will not make comment outside of an internal need to know, as it violates privacy laws. It would be like your employer talking to someone who was just interested in knowing about your personnel record. It opens an organization up to a huge liability and therefore is just not something that is done. The employee can say whatever they would like and disclose anything, unless there are stipulations in a contract suggesting otherwise. I find it highly suspect that Dr. Edney is saying that she has not been told anything. I think she should start putting her CV out there and find a contingency plan. I would not blame the board if they chose to stand firm on their decision.
Great dialogue. Thank you!
I guess we’ll know the real answers when the new principal comes in. Edney herself said she doesn’t know why her contract isn’t being renewed, and you can’t say “maybe she wasn’t being a team player” when the superintendent recommended her contract be renewed. Obviously he thought she was.
The superintendent is an ass and is retiring in June. He doesn’t give a rat’s a** who stays or goes. The premise of a contract is that there is a start and an end to it. There is NO promise to renew. If the leadership team isn’t happy, they DO NOT enter into a new contract. What is this so difficult for everyone to understand? She was UNDER CONTRACT!!!! Get over it and move on instead pulling race cards and the unfair argument. Let her be a big girl and fight her own battles and stop try to use other’s to do her dirty work. Grow up Edney. Use this time to get your resume out there and find a new position. Although I wouldn’t hire you. You do not play the game well. It is no wonder you weren’t renewed.